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Thursday, 5 September 2013

Living out loud

I am fully aware of the irony of what I'm about to write, but there is something in the news today got me thinking (and it's something that crops up almost daily).

When something happens, how does the media get access to people's Facebook page status? How do they get their photos? Do they hack in? Does Facebook hand it over? Or do 'friends' pass it on? If we have a personal facebook page, or pinterest/twitter/instagram account, have we really handed over all rights to privacy?

If so, do we need to keep that in mind when we post our kids/thoughts/selves? (Topics of catfishing and facial recognition issues will be saved for another day - it's just too big to even get my head around yet).

Do we need to consider how to keep in touch without sacrificing privacy?

(Obviously, as a blogger, we are sacrificing a certain amount of that privacy. Even then, it can feel at times, you are only talking to one or two people, especially on twitter, but it needs to be noted it is for the whole wide web to see).

I do not know how the media gets it's hands on people's facebook material, but I for one do not want to read the status of a grieving person, or a person in a difficult situation. their message to their friends and loved ones should stay just that.

Of course, the article that prompted this, the woman herself may have released the details in order for the other party to see them, on the chance he was not able to access online.

Which then brings us to the kids. The kids who will grow up with every thought and deed they ever committed following them around for their whole adult life.

I don't have an answer, but it is something quite complex to think about. Mind bogglingly difficult, with what complications and consequences may follow.

It's alien enough to make you think - online, everyone can hear you scream*.

Linking up with some Grace for FYBF.
* (that's a joke for the old people)


  1. I got the joke (must be old). Seriously, you are right. I wonder whether that with everyone so 'exposed' it just becomes the norm and our notion of privacy shrinks, just like people who live in big cities generally have smaller 'personal spaces' than those who live in the country. Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

  2. Oh no - I'm an old people !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have thought about this before and wondered whether I am actually doing myself and my family harm by being on social media and whether or not it will come back to bite me on the butt in the future. I guess it will only be time that will tell.
    Have the best weekend !

  3. It's a completely different world for us than it was for our parents, and will be even tougher for our kids. Global communication is a wonderful thing in many ways but also puts an expectation and pressure on people that our lives should be shared to all and sundry.

  4. What a scary thought - that say I died in a horrible or sensational way tomorrow, the media would probably be able to find everything they wanted to about me online. Selfies on instagram, twitter rants, Facebook fights... eek.
    We're living out our lives online, definitely something to think about and I advocate constantly reviewing what you're comfortable with sharing!

  5. This is always at the forefront of my mind before I post anything on my blog, facebook, or wherever. Some good advice I picked up somewhere was to always ask yourself this question before posting anything about your family/kids "If my child is one day running for Prime Minister, will this post be an embarrassment?" I always go further and think "How will my child feel about this when they are older" and always "How would I feel if my mother had posted this about me?"

  6. I guess before we even come to figuring out what the media (or anyone for that matter) will find about us or our family on the internet, I think it's important to ask - what's the purpose of my blog? Or even when writing a post, what's the purpose of this particular post? Because then I think it can help a process of editing and censorship become a little more natural in our heads when we write.
    It's about asking ourselves, Do I really need to share the minute stuff of my family and personal life?

  7. I just want to say, in this case the woman had said nothing wrong, or over shared or anything like that. I felt I was intruding on her private grief, care of the smh. I don't think I should be reading private fb statuses as 'news'.
    I am uncomfortable as to how the media gets those 'quotes' to publish.
    No judgement on what people share, more on the privacy.
    As blogger fb pages, they're public so it's a different kettle of

  8. I have actually wondered the same thing Lydia. I just assumed the media (like anyone) could access unlocked accounts. Which I is the very reason I have the highest security settings on my personal page.

  9. This post raised some good questions. The whole lack of privacy and the media's ability to find info on us does scare me. I need to think even more about things I post.

  10. Even outside the media, on a personal level, I have a friend who passed away earlier this year and her Facebook page is still active. On her recent birthday people were posting messages on the page etc. It's just such a strange thing to have this virtual presence that really does live on after you die. There are great and terrible things about that notion, but it really sticks in my mind now whenever I post something.